2015-16 Caribbean Yachting Season News: “Old” Caribbean, St. Kitts, and Cuba
As Mediterranean temperatures cool, many gorgeous superyachts will begin passage across the Atlantic to winter in the Caribbean. Translucent blue water, sugar sand from white to pink and black, and a laid back atmosphere where tuxedos are all but extinct, save for the occasional private celebration or charity event, all make the Caribbean a welcome change of pace.
The Caribbean is truly perfect cruising with exceptional conditions and warm, welcoming native populations. Traditional favorites like the Bahamas, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John, Turks and Caicos, the Caymans, and St. Croix, are always good destinations. There are some trending, itinerary-changing preferences, however, so consider your options.
The Undiscovered Caribbean
You’ll find a quiet little community of boat builders and fishermen going about their days in Carriacou, Grenada, but you’ll also find 100 rum shops well stocked to celebrate the end of the day. It is the slow pace and uncomplicated life of yesterday, with strong ties to the African origins of the people. Lucky visitors are privileged to enjoy a Big Drum Dance at one of the island’s many celebrations, with a culture brought to life by dances with exotic names like Chicky Mellow, Temnair, Callendar, and Ashanti.
Additional destinations include Terre-de-Haut on the Isle des Saintes in the French West Indies, a favorite of French nationals with a preserved, laid back atmosphere. Also worthy of a visit, Anegada, BVI’s extensive reefs, great snorkeling in Loblolly Bay, and friendly cocktails at the Cow Wreck Bar present a rare, unspoiled view of Caribbean life, but only experienced captains that know the extensive reefs should attempt the approach.
The unspoiled Dutch island of Saba is the site of 2,910 Mt. Scenery, which makes a fabulous hike with a stunning mountaintop panorama. Marie Galante, Guadaloupe is a quiet, reserved island of farms, beaches, lagoons, and reefs by day, but celebratory at night, with piano bars and nightclubs serving up Ti punch. Lastly, Staniel Cay in the Bahamas remote Exumas is the site of Thunderball Grotto of James Bond film fame, and perfect, uncrowded beaches.
New St. Kitts Superyacht Marina
This year will likely see more than a few new visitors to the luxurious islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, as the Christophe Harbour superyacht marina continues its rise. The marina opened in Feb., 2015, with 24 berths between 150 and 220 feet, prepared to handle transient yachts up to 300 ft. Make sure to include use of the services at the YU lounge at St. Kitts airport to assist with customs and security.
Private Yacht Charters and Cuba
As the US continues to relax restrictions on travel to Cuba, more and more yachts are turning up there for a look. The island holds mystery and intrigue, being off limits for such a long time, and in such close proximity to other Caribbean islands. Interest is running high, providing the rewards of seeing the culture and people before the influx of box stores and fast food transforms them.